St. Louis Concertmaster to serve as Boonville festival art director
St. Louis Symphony Concertmaster David Halen will once again serve as Artistic Director for his ninth year for the 38th Annual Missouri River Festival of the Arts, which is being held at the 156 year old Thespian Hall on August 21-24. The festival is the longest running music festival in the state.
According to a release, Violinist Chee Yun will make her debut while joining Helen Kim, Jacob Braun, Grace Park and others. There will be a special performance by guest composer Stefan Freund. On Thursday, soprano Mary Jane Lee will be featured. Halen will also be performing violin.
According to the St. Louis Syphony Orchestra's website, Halen began playing the violin at the age of six, and earned his bachelor’s degree at the age of 19. In that same year, he won the Music Teachers National Association Competition and was granted a Fulbright scholarship for study with Wolfgang Marschner at the Freiburg Hochschule für Musik in Germany, the youngest recipient ever to have been honored with this prestigious award. In addition, Halen holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, studying with Sergiu Luca.
Halen's pervious experience includes serving as Assistant Concertmaster with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under Sergiu Comissiona and Christoph Eschenbach until 1991. He then came to St. Louis, where he was permanently named Concertmaster in September 1995, without audition, by the Orchestra, and with the endorsement of then Music Directors Leonard Slatkin and Hans Vonk. In addition, he has soloed with the orchestra in much of the major concerti in the violin repertoire. Halen has soloed with the Houston, San Francisco and West German Radio (Cologne) symphonies.
According to his biography, Halen teaches and performs extensively, serving as Concertmaster at the Aspen Music Festival and School under David Zinman. He has also soloed, taught and served as Concertmaster extensively at the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec, the Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, the National Orchestra Institute at the University of Maryland, the Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. In 2007, he was appointed Distinguished Visiting Artist at Yale University, and at the new Robert Mcduffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon Georgia.
As cofounder and artistic director of the Innsbrook Institute, Mr. Halen coordinates a weeklong festival, in June, of exciting musical performances and an enclave for aspiring artists. His numerous accolades include the 2002 St. Louis Arts and Entertainment Award for Excellence, and an honorary doctorate from Central Missouri State University and from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.
Tickets for the festival are currently on sale. All three nights will cost $65 person while each night will cost $25. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. each night. Doors open at 7 p.m.